News - McHenry County

McHenry County Animal Control resumes adoptions after staffing vacancies meant temporary hiatus

Appointments required during special pet adoption event

Dave Rosengarden explains to his children (left to right,) 5-year-old Judson, 8-year-old Jeremy, 18-month-old Myra and 7-year-old McKayla, the proper way to hold their new cat, Ray, as they proceed with adopting him Saturday, July 23, 2016, from the McHenry County Animal Control during the national Clear the Shelter event.

More staff hires means the McHenry County Department of Health can once again offer animals for adoption at its Crystal Lake offices.

To celebrate the reopening, the McHenry County Department of Health’s Animal Control invites families to “Pick Your Price.”

Set for Saturday, Sept. 24, by appointment only, potential adopters will find out what fee they’ll pay by drawing a card. The fee will be either $40, $60 or $80, county officials said.

“After a few months of hard work and dedication, we are able to reopen our adoption center,” Animal Control Director Maryellen Howell said in a statement.

Since suspending in-office animal adoptions in May, the health department continued to work with area shelters and rescues to place pets, health department spokeswoman Lindsey Salvatelli said.

“We have utilized rescues in the Chicagoland area on an ongoing basis to place animals for adoption,” she said, including those who may have needed additional medical care of socialization.

“While we were low staffed, we offered almost all our animals for transfer to those same agencies,” Salvatelli said.

But the four-month service break was less about the number of staff, but their job duties, she said.

“We recently filled our health educator position which serves as the volunteer and adoption coordinator. We also filled another critical position in the kennel and our office, both of which allow us the time to process animals for adoption,” she said.

McHenry County’s health department and animal control provides services to communities throughout the county who may not have animal control officers themselves, Salvatelli said.

“We have long standing agreement of the types of services provided to municipalities,” Salvatelli said.

For all adoptions offered by the county, fees cover all the procedures performed prior to adoption, she said. That includes surgical sterilization, a microchip, one-year registration, flea and tick control treatment, and age-appropriate veterinary services that include rabies, deworming and certain tests, she said.

Adoptions are by appointment only. To set up an appointment, fill out and submit an adoption application at

Staff will contact approved adopters to set up an appointment. Call (815) 459-6222 with any questions. Potential adopters can view adoptable animals at